Elder Emotional Abuse

Now, elders are more visible, more active, and remain independent much longer than in previous years. However, the elderly still deserve to be safe and cared for. Everyone regardless of age deserves treatment of dignity and respect. However, this doesn’t happen with the elderly. Most are abused with the psychological or emotional abuse as the most common of all types of elder abuse. Research says emotional abuse accounts for 54% of all abuse cases. 

About Emotional Abuse

Psychological abuse wreaks mental anguish by means of threats, humiliation, fear, manipulation, or other cruel conduct. The abuser afflicts it through verbal or nonverbal communication cues. However, these cues are systematically delivered with malicious and explicit nonphysical acts against an elder. Examples include harassment, scolding, insults, denigration, and stalking. Many who emotionally abuse the elderly seek to control or humiliate.  

The abuser can also threaten the elder with physical punishment or the deprivation of basic needs. Food, medication, heat, or basic care could be taken away.  Other cases involved the caregiver placing a walker, cane, glasses or dentures just out of reach to psychologically torment. 

Signs of Emotional Abuse

Seeing the signs of emotional abuse is not as easy as watching for a bruise or burn as in physical elder abuse. Abuse may not be apparent, even to those who experience it.  However, it is important to keep in mind the behaviors often demonstrated by victims of emotional abuse. 

These include:

  • Withdrawal
  • Increased depression
  • Evasiveness
  • Avoiding eye or verbal contact
  • Cowering
  • Feeling of hopelessness or anxiety
  • Confusion unrelated to medical issues
  • Change of sleeping or eating patterns
  • Isolation

Sometimes to assess emotional abuse, it is important to observe the behaviors of the caregivers as well. Indicators of a possible abuser are:

  • Tired or stressed
  • Substance abuse
  • Lack of concern
  • Exaggerated concern
  • Scolding the elder for incontinence, dropping an item, etc.
  • Dehumanizing the elder
  • Aggression
  • Defensive

Learn More

Florida Nursing Home Ignoring Elderly Abuse

Study Finds Rampant Unreported Nursing Home Abuse

If you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected, do not accept denials. Instead, contact a knowledgeable lawyer experienced with representing victims. We have been assisting the injured for 20 years. We help clients from all over the country. Our consultations are completely free. Call today.

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